How to Become a Supplier for the Council
The Council's procurement and contracting arrangements are designed to ensure that we achieve best value for the public purse. In order to achieve this the Council will ascertain the right route to award a contract based on a requirement to requirement basis or where a need for a product or service has been identified.
- How the Council Tenders - The processes explained.
- How the Council Advertises.
- How to access the Councils eSourcing Portal.
How the Council Tenders
As a public sector organisation the Council has various routes to a procurement process whether that is through an established Framework, DPS, Open Market competition or the Light Touch Regime. Where a requirement requires the Council to go through a procurement process the route will be decided based a contract per contract basis.
Access to Frameworks
Using Commercial Agreements often referred to as framework agreements are prearranged by Procurement Organisations (PO) and regulated by the Public Contract Regulations 2015. A framework agreement (for services, supplies and works) is set up by a PO through a procurement process in line with the procurement principles. They comprise a list of suppliers and standardised contract terms. Agreements are divided into lots by product or service type. A framework allows public sector bodies to access the services, supplies and works by either a call off competition or a direct award. To supply through a framework agreement, catalogue or portal you can respond directly to the PO Contract Notices on the Governments find a Tender Service.
Frameworks are a scope of requirements with preapproved suppliers and terms established by a Public Purchasing Organisation (PPO)
A PPO will award a public framework following a fair, transparent and compliant public procurement process. All suppliers have the chance to apply to be on a framework when a Contract Notice is released. Once the procurement process is complete the PPO will released the framework online for Public Sector Organisations (i.e. councils, NHS, Fire service) to access. The Council may call off the requirements by either a mini competition or a direct award without the need to advertise a notice.
Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS)
A Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) is a procedure available for contracts for works, services and goods commonly available on the market. As a procurement tool, it facilitates a list of approved suppliers who have committed to a specification, quality standards and terms and conditions for the scope of works, services or goods required. A DPS has some aspects that are similar to a framework agreement, the difference is that new suppliers can join at any time. Each DPS is set up as an individual opportunity and divided into categories of products, works or services called LOTS. Where a DPS is established the Council will call for competition through a specific LOT list of approved suppliers. All suppliers have the opportunity to respond to the opportunity and the bid submission will be evaluated by the Council before award of contract.
The DPS is a two-stage process. In the initial set-up stage, the Council will release a Contract Notice and a Selection Questionnaire (SQ). Suppliers will apply to be on the DPS by completing and submitting the SQ the Council will evaluate all the information and notify suppliers whether they have met the criteria or not. All suppliers who meet the selection criteria on the SQ and are not rejected* are admitted to the DPS. There are no limits on the number of suppliers that may join and suppliers can apply to join at any point during its lifetime. At this stage the supplier sits on the DPS LOT as an approved supplier with no guarantee of work. In stage two, the Council invites all suppliers on the DPS (or the relevant category within the DPS) to bid for the specific contract. Individual opportunities are released for competition, evaluated and a contract is awarded to a successful supplier.
* Where a supplier has been excluded, a rejection notification will be sent by the Council to the supplier. On receipt of the notification the supplier can remedy the area of rejection on the original selection questionnaire and resubmit for evaluation again. This can repeat itself until the selection criteria has been met.
Open Market Tenders
There are a few ways the Council will award an open market tender;
- Low Value - Direct contact requesting quotes from suppliers and awarding based on best value.
- Above £10k - Advertise a Contract Notice and release a Request for Quote, Terms and Conditions on the Councils eSourcing portal.
- Above UK Threshold - Formal public procurement procedure with a Contract Notice on the Councils eSourcing portal.
Formal public procurement procedures include open, restricted, competitive with negotiation and innovation partnership. The most common procedures are open and restricted. Open procedure is a one stage process where the supplier submits a single response. A restricted procedure is a two stage process. A supplier responds to a SQ and if successful is taken through to the Tender stage. A contract Notice would be published for anyone of these procedures notifying the market of the opportunity.
Additional processes to those listed may be applied when using the Grant funded schemes, Light Touch Regime and the Council's standing orders.
How the Council Advertises
Where the Council has no legal requirement to publish a contract notice there may be a low value opportunity brief on the Councils website to generate interest in the market.
Where the Council has used a process that requires an advert the Council will publish a Contract Notice which invites suppliers to participate in applicable contracts above £10k.
Contract Notices are posted on the UK Governments advertising portals for public Contracts Contracts Finder (for opportunities below UK Thresholds) or Find a Tender (Contracts above UK Thresholds). The Council's Contract Notice will have a link to the eSourcing portal to access the Tender documents where suppliers can respond to an opportunity.
Contract Notices have CPV (Common Procurement Vocabulary) code(s). It's a classification system used to standardise subject matter of the opportunity in public procurement. They are a sequence of numeric numbers assigned to any type of service goods or works which gives suppliers the chance to view relevant Contract Notices only. There is a function available for suppliers to sign up to CPV code(s) notification, (this may have a cost involved) but it will notify you of any public sector opportunities across the UK.
Contract Notice’s will contain information on how to respond to an opportunity and the deadline date and time to respond. It's important to submit a bid within the timetable as bids cannot be accepted where the deadline has elapsed.
We also use Twitter to promote our Tender Opportunities and if you wish to be a follower, our user ID is @TelfordWrekin.
Access to the Councils eSourcing Portal
The Council uses the In-tend eSourcing portal.
Suppliers can register for free. It's a one-time registration as long as the email address used is accessible. There is different functionalities within the eSourcing portal, document exchange or online responses. Each tender will advise which functionality is being used. When you have identified a tender that you wish to tender for.
Go to ‘Supplier Guidance’ Tab and either view or download the ‘supplier portal Guide’ which covers all the required aspects of the portal, managing your details, tender management etc.
Contact with the Council Regarding the Opportunity
When an Opportunity has been released, all communication regarding an opportunity between Suppliers and the Council has to be through the Council's eSourcing Portal.
Emails (correspondence) action button is within the tender box. All communication will be responded to by the buyer and distributed (if appropriate) to all suppliers.
Suppliers will receive a notification communication directly into the registered email address. This facilitates communication between the supplier and the buyer without having to check the eSourcing portal each day. If the supplier requires further clarification, it has to be responded to through the eSourcing portal.
The Tenders response box shows the opening and closing time and date. After a tender box closes, no further documents can be uploaded, however, the communication box will continue to be open between the buyer and supplier until the box is archived. Post tender all communication and notifications will continue through the eSourcing portal.
If you experience any technical difficulties, please contact the In-tend eSourcing Helpdesk on: 0843 8498404 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above is additional information, if you are experiencing any difficulties, please speak to In-tend.
Last updated: 27/02/2024 12:17